Update 26 July: Arona Mayor Francisco José Niño has ordered both works on Palm Mar beach to be cordoned off. The works were initiated by two separate promoters, one of them in the area of the protected Rasca Mountain and the other near the Menceyes complex. These latter works are being undertaken by the Menceyes developers and have had permission from both the coastal authorities and the local ayuntamiento to develop this part of the beach for a kiosk, sunbeds, a restaurant and a sports centre, the total involving an investment of some two million Euros. Both sets of works, however, are now halted, and there is a period of two months for appeal, and a year for the definitive project to be presented.
Original post 24 July: The last week or so has seen outrage in Palm Mar with a JCB clearing rocks on the beach – even within inches of locals sunbathing, as can be seen in the above videos – and the construction of various edifices on the beach itself. While some residents have seen the “development” of the beach as a positive thing, others stress that the area was always supposed to be residential, and argue that the beach is public property and not for anyone to put a kiosk or other buildings on.
After some residents called the police the works were suspended and cordoned off, and it transpired that they had been carried out by the family firm behind the Menceyes developments. The developers say that they are intended as a refreshments kiosk and toilet blocks, and claim that the land on which they are being set up has been transferred into coastal territory. Since it was originally their property, they were given the right to install the kiosk.
This has not stopped many locals, however, saying that they too would have liked the chance for such a small business, but that this opportunity does not seem to be available to Joe Bloggs. They fear, too, that the beach will end up as a private club, something denied by the developers. Others, too, wonder about the fact that while Arona Ayuntamiento has apparently licensed these new works, it wasn’t too keen on the idea when it was first mooted, and indeed supported a Court judgment in 2008 annulling a previous licence … granted by Arona Ayuntamieto …
Yesterday, environmental organization ATAN said that there were two licences involved, and that it suspected one of them to be null and void. Today, the organization has updated its view: it is practically convinced that both are illegal. Meanwhile, outraged locals and activists have set up a Facebook group “Yo tambien hubiera querido tener un chiringuito en la playa del Palm-mar” (I too would have liked to have a kiosk on Palm Mar beach).